Or as Lovecraft would have put it:
Aaaiii! Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Iran R’lyeh wagn’nagl fhtagn! Aaaiii!!!!
Fareed Zakaria sums up the silliness of comparing Iran to Nazi Germany:
Can everyone please take a deep breath?
To review a bit of history: in 1938, Adolf Hitler launched what became a world war not merely because he was evil but because he was in complete control of the strongest country on the planet. At the time, Germany had the world’s second largest industrial base and its mightiest army. (The American economy was bigger, but in 1938 its army was smaller than that of Finland.) This is not remotely comparable with the situation today.
Iran does not even rank among the top 20 economies in the world. The Pentagon’s budget this year is more than double Iran’s total gross domestic product ($181 billion, in official exchange-rate terms). America’s annual defense outlay is more than 100 times Iran’s. Tehran’s nuclear ambitions are real and dangerous, but its program is not nearly as advanced as is often implied. Most serious estimates suggest that Iran would need between five and 10 years to achieve even a modest, North Korea-type, nuclear capacity.
Washington has a long habit of painting its enemies 10 feet tall–and crazy. During the cold war, many hawks argued that the Soviet Union could not be deterred because the Kremlin was evil and irrational [Mad Biologist: many of these ‘Plan B’ers‘ later formulated Little Lord Pontchartrain’s foreign policy]. The great debate in the 1970s was between the CIA’s wimpy estimate of Soviet military power and the neoconservatives’ more nightmarish scenario. The reality turned out to be that even the CIA’s lowest estimates of Soviet power were a gross exaggeration. During the 1990s, influential commentators and politicians–most prominently the Cox Commission [Mad Biologist:headed by Republican congressman Christopher Cox]–doubled the estimates of China’s military spending, using largely bogus calculations. And then there was the case of Saddam Hussein’s capabilities. Saddam, we were assured in 2003, had nuclear weapons–and because he was a madman, he would use them.
Iran is something you keep your eye on. You do not make it the warp and woof of U.S. foreign policy.